Hi, and thanks for your willingness to appear on my blog! I’m looking forward to sharing your knowledge and advice with the rest of the world (at least with the small portion of it that follows my blog). What genre do you write? How did you pick it?
I write contemporary romance, mostly because I love reading it! It took me a while to figure out what unique angle I could bring to the genre, but once I did, I got rolling and haven’t looked back.
What are your favorite genres to read? Why?
I read probably 95% contemporary romance, with occasional forays into historical or fantasy. I like the hope romance offers, especially Christian romance where the characters grow as believers as well as in their relationship.
How long did it take you complete your first manuscript (published or not)?
My very first manuscript was written back in 2002, and it took most of the year to write. It was 100,000 words, and I’ve never read it since! Still, it was a very valuable experience. I discovered I had the stick-to-it-iveness to write a whole lot of words, and that I needed to learn more about how stories work.
Have your follow-up novels been easier or harder to write? Why do you think that is?
Easier, definitely, as I’ve internalized some of the rhythms of my genre and learned what are the best practices for me. Each writer does things differently, and half the fun was learning how my own brain works!
What’s surprised you the most about the book-publishing process?
I think how much everything changes. All. The. Time. Just when I think I’ve learned how to navigate, the industry does an about-face and off we go again!
What’s been the most challenging part of getting a book published?
The transition between the traditional world and the independent world. There’s really a big change in thinking between the two. I had one novella published with Barbour, which did not lead to bigger and better things. Once I made the decision to pursue the indie way, I had to learn how to run a business as well as how to write better books more quickly. The business part definitely uses the other half of my brain.
What’s your favorite part of the publishing experience?
Getting emails from readers who’ve been touched by one of my stories, whether it’s a new release or one of my older titles. I’ve had so many emails and messages that brought tears to my eyes. I’m infinitely grateful to have the opportunity to speak into women’s lives.
For learning the writing craft, which do you prefer – books or conferences? Why?
I’ve done my share of both, but I’d probably say books, as you can go at your own pace and internalize the lessons. Finding books that address both your writing style and level can be challenging, though.
If you could recommend one writing conference, what would it be? Why? (If you haven’t attended one, which one would you like to attend? Why?)
I’ve attended several conferences with American Christian Fiction Writers and Inland Northwest Christian Writers. Both were very helpful when I was newer and trying to learn and network. I haven’t attended a conference in five years now. Next time, I think it will be something geared toward indie authors.
If you could recommend one writing book, what would it be? Why?
This is a hard question, since I’ve had many favorites at different stages of my education. One that helped a lot with basics was Randy Ingermanson’s Writing Fiction for Dummies.
If you could pick any of your novels to be made into a movie, which one would you pick? Who would you want to play the lead roles, and why?
Hmm. Maybe Secrets of Sunbeams, since it features an urban goat. I bet the producers would have fun with that! I watch no television and very few movies, so I have no opinions on the actors, though.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
My next release is Rooted in Love, on November 14. It’s part of the Arcadia Valley Romance multi-author collection, which has been a very exciting project to be part of!
Alaina Silva returns to Arcadia Valley determined to re-root herself in her faith, but that doesn’t mean no dating, does it? She can totally separate the rambunctious twins in her daycare from their very intriguing dad… for a while, anyway.
Divorcé Cameron Kraus has a busy life with a career and two six-year-olds. Now he’s finally scored full-time daycare at the Grace Greenhouse Kids Program, but his overbearing parents are in town for the summer offering to watch the boys. No thanks. Not when Cameron can see the gorgeous program administrator at drop-off and pick-up every day… and oftener.
But when doubts and trials arise, they must dig their roots deep in their faith and love for each other.
You can find retailer links on my website: http://valeriecomer.com/books/rooted-in-love/
Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary Christian romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie grows much of her own food and is active in the local foods movement as well as her church. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily-ever-afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.
Valerie is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner. She writes engaging characters, strong communities, and deep faith into her green clean romances.